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During your wet or snowy adventures, you’ll want to pack a pair of winter boots, whether you’re participating in intense sports or leisurely walking. In the sea of winter boots out there, it can be intimidating to find a starting point. So how should you begin looking?
A decent pair of winter boots for women strikes a delicate balance between warmth, safety, and style. In cold weather, a heat-trapping lining is crucial— this usually means 200g of insulation or more. In damp, chilly weather, seam-sealing and waterproof treatments are also important. In terms of safety, you’ll want a snug fit so that you have control over your movements. To walk through slush and ice, you will need winter boots with some sort of treading pattern so that your feet stay steady. And of course, both warmth and safety can be designed with style in mind. To add some flair to your travels, look for details such as laces and fur collars.
In this guide, we compiled a list of the best winter boots for women, from the shoes that will give you the most bang for your buck to the ones that suit extreme cold weather.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Sorel Women’s Caribou Boots
Sorel’s iconic Caribou Boots top many winter shoe lists because of their durable, cozy design. They're great for most winter activities, even those in heavy snow. They’ll keep your feet toasty in subzero temperatures, coming with a recycled felt ThermoPlus lining with a plush sherpa snow cuff for extra style. In fact, they last in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you won't need to worry about getting them wet because the soft nubuck shoes have been vulcanized to prevent water damage. They also have seam-sealed waterproof rubber shell outsoles to keep water from seeping into them. For comfortable, safe walking, the Caribou Boots sport Sorel’s AeroTract non-loading outsoles, while the pebbled design allows for steady steps in icy, snowy conditions. Colorwise, you can choose from buff, black/stone, and shale/stone.
In terms of consideration, just be sure to size down, as the boots run about one size larger than expected.
Best Budget: Columbia Women's Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boot
The Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boots offer everything that you would want in winter boots at roughly $80 per pair. If you’re looking for style, warmth, and comfort, look no further. Coming in black, shale, and purple dahlia, the boots have waterproof, woven synthetic uppers with faux fur collars. Additionally, they have 200g of insulation, using a heat-trapping lining system with little silver dots that reflect body heat. This technology not only retains heat but also wicks moisture, feels breathable, and allows you to go without too many layers.
Additionally, you won’t need to worry about the winter boots not holding up during winter sports. The Omni-Grip non-marking rubber soles provide superior traction on slippery surfaces. They suit a range of different terrains, including snowy ones. For moving around, the lightweight Techlite midsole also ensures lasting comfort and cushioning when you’re walking in the snow.
Best Style: UGG Women's Cecile Winter Boot
Most people associate the UGG brand with their comfy, casual classic booties that don’t necessarily have the most stylish design. But these lightweight Cecile boots are different because they're both sophisticated and functional. Sporting a duck boot design, the shoes flaunt a sleek, streamlined look with a full-grain waterproof leather shaft that measures seven inches. Great for light, snowy adventures, the versatile winter boots match with everything from flared pants to skinny jeans. Colorwise, you can choose between black and chestnut models.
Besides their sophisticated look, these shoes are also comfortable and warm. According to reviewers, the Cecile boots, while coming with no special ergonomic features, provide a good fit that feels snug even for wide-footed women. Besides fit, they also feel nice to walk in. The outsole consists of clear spider rubber with cork for traction and comfort. On the inside, their UGGpure wool liners aren't plush, but still feel cozy. The shoes are also seam-sealed and waterproof, coming with water guard Pedair foam insoles that make them appropriate for wet winter days.
Best White: Columbia Women's Heavenly Omni-Heat Mid Calf Boot
The sea salt and fawn selection from Columbia's Heavenly line elevates the white boot trend with a luxurious faux-fur collar and a plush quilted texture. The upper part is made of waterproof woven synthetic textile, so it will not easily become discolored or damaged by snow and soil. Other stylish details on the winter boots include the laces, as well as the metal rivets and aglets that align them. Besides white, the shoes also come in shades of green, gray, black, and navy.
Like our other Columbia selection, the Heavenly boots have the Omni-Heat reflective warmth technology that retains body heat with silver dots. In addition to Omni-Heat, the shoes use 200g insulation to keep your feet warm and toasty, rated for temperatures down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. Like the Minx winter boots, these also have non-marking Omni-Grip outsoles that offer superior traction.
Best Waterproof: The North Face Women’s Shellista - Mid
If you’re anticipating a wet winter vacation, The North Face’s Shellista will help you brave snow, rain, and slush. Externally, the lace-up winter boots have streamlined waterproof TPR shells and soft, oversized knit collars that keep chills out. On the inside, the shoes come with 200g Primaloft insulation to protect your feet against cold weather. Basically, the shoes use silver fibers to trap warmth for reduced heat loss.
The TNF Winter Grip rubber outsoles make these shoes excellent for walking. They have IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs where the soles stiffen and punch through the ice when it’s cold. When it’s warm, the soles become tacky on wet surfaces for optimal grip. The grip works well on uneven, rocky surfaces, making it appropriate for winter hikes. The boots are also lightweight, weighing a little over a pound per shoe so that you can move swiftly in them.
Like many winter boots, The Shellista is available in variations of gray, black, and brown models that come with a range of lace colors. You can select from over 15 different combinations.
Best Tall: Sorel Women's Joan Of Arctic Boot
If your vacation plans involve heavy snow, you’ll want to pack Sorel’s Women’s Joan of Arctic Boots. These tall winter boots, made from waterproof full-grain leather and suede, flaunt a more streamlined look than Sorel's Caribou shoes. Their shaft height measures approximately 12 inches, so the winter boots offer excellent weather protection in tall, snowy banks. Due to their length, the shoes weigh almost two pounds each, so they're not the best shoes for high levels of activity.
Since they are tall, the Joan of Arctic winter boots keep a lot of heat in. The soft faux fur collar, besides adding a stylish flourish, also serves to seal out the cold. They also have six millimeters thick recycled felt inside boots to provide insulation. For extra protection, each shoe undergoes seam-sealing, and the outsole is delicately handcrafted with waterproof vulcanized rubber that has a herringbone pattern. The heel is approximately one inch, so there’s adequate buffer space between your feet and the ground during very cold seasons.
Colorwise, the shoes mostly come in understated black, gray, and brown hues. That said, you can choose from over 25 different combinations of boot color and laces for the Joan of Arctic model.
Best for Rain: Hunter Women's Original Short Gloss Rain Boots
Not all winter destinations call for snow boots. Some vacations call for rain boots to combat light drizzles to moderate showers. For rainy weather, the Original Short Gloss Rain Boots from Hunter will keep your feet dry. The English brand has been around for over 160 years, developing a global following since its inception. The high quality of the shoes lives up to its brand's fame. The rain boots are fully waterproof, flaunting a high gloss finish and a warm polyester lining. The non-slip rubber outsoles have tread patterns that keep you steady on your feet even when you face stormy weather conditions.
The shoes are reasonably priced. For under $100, you would be paying for craftsmanship — the boots are handcrafted from 28 different parts. Additionally, Hunter produces these shows in over 15 different colors, many of them vibrant. The selection includes cheerful hues such as orange, violet, yellow, and pale blue.
Best for Extreme Cold: Baffin Women's Ice Field Insulated Boot
Baffin's Ice Field Insulated Boots will keep your feet toasty and protected from the cold on a whole different level than many of the other boots on this list. The shoes can shield feet in temperatures as low as -148 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they're waterproof, they also prevent your feet from getting damp and chill. And while walking among snow and ice can be difficult, their rubber soles are fully tractioned so that you can walk with more ease.
The liner in the Ice Field boots is an entity of its own. It uses a novel eight-layer system with ThermoPlus to retain warmth. On the inside, the shoes feature double B-tek insulation, as well as a double aluminum insole and waffle-comb footbed. To seal warmth in, the winter boots sport web laces and drawstring collars to expel show and chill.